Report: Leeds United 2-2 Brighton & Hove Albion
Leeds: Meslier (GK), Ayling (C), Firpo, Koch, Aaronson (Rutter 84’), Roca (McKennie 66’), Bamford (Rodrigo 66’), Summerville (Gnonto 66’), Harrison (Sinisterra 90’), Adams, Wober. Subs not used: Robles (GK), Struijk, Kristensen, Greenwood.
Brighton: Steel (GK), Webster (van Hecke 90’), Dunk (C), March, Mac Allister, Groß, Mitoma, Caicedo, Ferguson (Welbeck 68’), Estupinan, Veltman. Subs not used: Sanchez (GK), Colwill, Sarmiento, Enciso, Undav, Ayari, van Hecke, Buonanotte.
Leeds United claimed a hard earned point at home to Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League, twice coming from behind to get back on level terms against their high-flying opponents.
The match got underway at another packed out Elland Road with both teams looking to attack. Early in the game, Marc Roca and Joel Veltman had shots on goal, neither of which troubled either ‘keeper.
Brighton were on top in the opening stages and saw plenty of the ball, whilst the Whites were patient and looking for the right moments against their opposition to go and win it back.
One big chance that did arrive for Leeds when going forward was created by Jack Harrison. He crossed deep into the box and found Luke Ayling at the back post, but Jason Steele was out to smother the chance and clear.
The away side then took the lead just after half an hour in West Yorkshire. A cross into the box from the right wing found its way to the back post where Kaoru Mitoma was waiting to head back across goal to Alex Mac Allister, with the number 10 finding space to easily head into the back of the net.
Leeds responded well though and equalised by picking their moment perfectly. Harrison won the ball and sprinted down the left wing. He looked up and pulled it back to Patrick Bamford, who struck from 20-yards into the back of the net, via a slight deflection, then in off the crossbar!
Both first half scorers had further chances before the break. Bamford shot low into the side netting from a tight angle, before Mac Allister sliced a good opening just wide when well placed on the edge of the box, sending the teams in level at the break.
Leeds came out and were lively at the start of the second half. No changes came on either side and the first chances both came for Brenden Aaronson. From the first he struck over, before Steele made a strong save to deny him from a second opportunity.
Then Harrison - who saw a strike blocked - and Ayling, who shot over with his left-foot, had the next chances as Leeds kept growing into the game.
However, on the hour mark, Brighton regained the lead. Again, it was Mitoma as the creator, he crossed low into the box and after a series of deflections, the ball ended up finding the net through the unfortunate boot of Harrison.
Javi Gracia went to his bench shortly after the goal and made a triple change. Top-scorer Rodrigo was welcomed back from injury, along with Willy Gnonto and Weston McKennie. Bamford, Crysencio Summerville and Roca were the players replaced.
The Seagulls made changes themselves and they were also important in the game. Danny Welbeck came on for Evan Ferguson and instantly had a good chance, which Illan Meslier stood tall and denied.
With 12 minutes to go, Leeds equalised again, with another superb effort from outside the box! Gnonto took a quick corner to Harrison and he looked up, before whipping it into the top corner with his right-foot to level it at two apiece.
Neither side wanted to settle for a point in a game that had been a strong tactical battle. They kept coming forward but no big chances came from that, meaning the match ended level at Elland Road.